RE: Or the oversight of the instant response?

From: Ryan, Angela (
Date: Fri May 25 2001 - 16:43:22 BST

  • Next message: Kenneth Van Oost: "Qauntum questions !"

    Received: by id QAA20810 (8.6.9/5.3[ref] for from; Fri, 25 May 2001 16:48:10 +0100
    Message-ID: <>
    From: "Ryan, Angela" <>
    To: "''" <>
    Subject: RE: Or the oversight of the instant response?
    Date: Fri, 25 May 2001 16:43:22 +0100
    X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2650.21)
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
    Precedence: bulk

    Dear Wade

            Thank you for this fascinating anecdote: I am not sure which, of
    your alternatives, this tale is, either, but they are all fairly worrying,
    and at the same time interesting for my heroine research. Do you know if
    there is any truth in the serendipitous-accident anecdote about why Lara
    Croft's bosoms are that size? And could you translate Curse of the Bambino,
            (I suspect it's a sports thing, and will follow that ear-to-ear
    cognitive path, like the offside rule, and the Arsenal Box Formation -
    although The Full Monty did make that one metaphorically clear; but never
    let it be said I don't try)
    Yours sincerely

    Dr A.M.T. Ryan agrégée de l'Université,
    Department of French,
    National University of Ireland, Cork,

    -----Original Message-----
    From: Wade T.Smith []
    Sent: Friday, May 25, 2001 2:22 PM
    To: memetics list
    Subject: Or the oversight of the instant response?

    Here's a snip from an interview with Samuel R. Delany, a personal
    favorite of mine. But I'm not sure what this little tale really _is_...?
    Is it an example of PC gone batty? A morality tale for paternalists? Or
    just one of those stories about how life really is a series of fuck

    - Wade

    Q: In the mid-seventies, you had a brief stint as a writer for Wonder
    Woman comic books. How did this come to pass?

    A: One of the glories of the late sixties comic book field was what were
    then called "relevant comics." In reaction to the freedom and daring of
    the then-burgeoning "underground comics," commercial comic books of the
    era began to take on far more mature themes and problems--social topics
    that had some punch: racism, child abuse, drugs, and what-have-you. The
    leading writer in this movement was Denny O'Neil and the leading artist,
    Neal Adams. It was an exciting moment in comics. The New York Times
    Magazine even devoted a Sunday cover article to them.

    Well, five or six years before that, Wonder Woman's writers had found
    themselves with the "Superman problem": Because she was so powerful, none
    of the villains could really offer any resistance, and Wonder Woman--nee
    Diana Prince--had been reduced, for several years, to Saving the Entire
    Earth from the Blue Meanies of Mars, or other equally mindless
    adventures. So, finally, the editors had done the only sane thing: Most
    of her super-powers had been taken away, and she was now just you
    ordinary black-belt karate expert and generally super-brave kick-ass
    heroine type--a sort of female Steven Seagal. She was still pretty damned
    heroic. Instead of the flag bra and blue bikini briefs, she wore a white
    karate gee with a black belt. Certainly it made it easier to come up with
    reasonable plots for her, and alone made it possible for the plots to
    have some relevance to the real world.

    Once the new relevant comics came along, they editors decided an area
    they wanted to tackle was women's problems. By that time Denny was
    editing Wonder Woman; he asked me to write a series of scripts for Wonder
    Woman that would touch on problems of actual women. (You might have
    thought, if they were really serious, they would have gotten a woman
    writer. But that, I suppose, was a bit too radical.) I came up with a
    six-issue story arc, each with a different villain: the first was a
    corrupt department store owner; the second was the head of a supermarket
    chain who tries to squash a women's food co-operative. Another villain
    was a college advisor who really felt a woman's place was in the home and
    who assumed if you were a bright woman, then something was probably wrong
    with you psychologically, and so forth. It worked up to a gang of male
    thugs trying to squash an abortion clinic staffed by women surgeons. And
    Wonder Woman was going to do battle with each of these and triumph.

    Well, we only through two issues--and the first was a matter of writing
    Wonder Woman out of the last adventure she was in and getting back into
    her Lower East Side Neighborhood, which is where Diana lived by then

    One day about six weeks after I had come on board, Gloria Steinem was
    being shown through the D.C. offices. Proudly they showed her the new
    Wonder Woman. Steinem hadn't looked at a Wonder Woman comic, however,
    since she was twelve. Immediately she exclaimed: "What happenned to her
    costume? How come she isn't deflecting bullets with her magic gold
    bracelets anymore and tying people up with her magic lasso?" Steinem
    didn't get a chance to read the story of course. But she complained
    bitterly: "Don't you realize how important the image of Wonder Woman was
    to young girls throughout the country?"

    She had a point, I admit.

    But, a day later, an edict came down from management to put Wonder Woman
    back in her American-flag falsies and blue bikini briefs and give her
    back all her super powers. Well, that's what happened--and she went back
    to Saving the Entire World from the Blue Meanies of Mars . . . There was
    no way I could work those in with the relatively realistic plot lines I
    had devised. So my stories were abandoned, and I was dumped as a
    writer--and Wonder Woman never did get a chance to fight for the rights
    of a women's abortion clinic.

    It's a case of the world being over-determined--and over-determined in
    some destructive ways. But Steinem had no idea of the stories her chance
    comments were used to scuttle.

    This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)

    ===============================This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Fri May 25 2001 - 16:51:54 BST